A new round of funding has been allocated to help small businesses in Clare develop their online capabilities, Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has said.

The Trading Online Voucher Scheme (TOVS) will support small businesses in developing their ecommerce capabilities through the provision of training, advice and grant assistance of up to €2,500.

“The vouchers are subject to match funding from the business owners and are a significant help for small business adapting to the challenges of ecommerce and increase further productive growth and job creation,”Deputy Carey explained.

“Last year 33 Clare businesses were supported with funding as part of the scheme which is administered by the Clare Local Enterprise Office (LEO) and backed by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment.

“A digital revolution taking place is transforming how businesses are interacting with their customers. We must support small businesses in keeping pace with this rapidly changing environment.

“Irish consumers spent almost €8 billion online in 2018, with this figure expected to exceed €10 billionn by 2020. It is of critical importance that small Irish businesses are well positioned to take a share of this market.

“The Trading Online Voucher Scheme provides much needed support in this regard and at least 3,000 small businesses will avail of it in 2019.”

“Since it was launched in 2014, more than 5,000 businesses have been granted funding and 12,000 supported with training through the scheme,” Deputy Carey added.